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Proposed changes to Food Services feedback reviewed

For Immediate Release
3 September 2015

Proposed changes to Food Services feedback reviewed

Since 1999 the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board has contracted the provision of food services. The Board is presently considering whether to join a national arrangement which would see Compass Group become the single provider of food services to New Zealand public hospitals.

Last month Nelson Marlborough DHB and Compass launched a consultation process on the proposal. This included the release of consultation documents to each organisations staff for comment and feedback.

During August sessions were held in Nelson and Wairau to go through the proposal and to answer questions, including a specific meeting with the NMDHB dietetic team.

To assist with the process, Lauren Scott, National Development and Innovation Manager of the Compass Group gave a series of briefings on the proposal and took questions from NMDHB staff, union reps, Grey Power and Age Concern representatives.

Medical and nursing staff, union representatives and other staff with a work interest in Food Services were also invited to attend the sessions.
Feedback on the proposal closed on 28 August and is currently being reviewed by management of both organisations.

Eric Sinclair, NMDHB General Manager, Finance and Performance says an update or a recommendation on the next steps will be provided to the NMDHB Board in September pending the review of feedback.
“We need to complete a review of the feedback we received on the proposal and then we can determine the next steps,” he says. “No decisions have been made at this time.”

Sinclair says as Compass Group already provides the majority of meals served at Nelson Marlborough DHB, he does not expect any significant changes.
“Compass Group would continue to be responsible for buying, cooking and delivering hospital food for all sites except Murchison Hospital. Food for Murchison will also be sourced through the same channels as Compass Group will be using for the other NMDHB facilities,” he says.

The proposed changes are not expected to affect DHB staff in any significant way. The staff who support food services, such as dieticians, nurses and HCAs, would continue to do so.

The key changes to meal preparation in Nelson, Wairau and Alexandra Hospitals would be from ‘Cook Fresh’ to ‘Cook Chill’, with greater use of prepared meal components than is presently the case. Meals would continue to be made up of a mixture of fresh and frozen ingredients.

Meals-on-Wheels clients and volunteer drivers would notice very little difference under the proposal. Meals would still be delivered hot by the same volunteer drivers. Clients will be given the choice of receiving their meal hot or frozen allowing them to reheat the meal at their convenience. They can also choose to receive additional frozen meals to cover times that the current Meals-on-Wheels service does not cover, for example, on a public holiday.

Many fruit and vegetables are procured within the Nelson Marlborough region and Compass Group state there will be no change in the future proposal. The current distribution partner, Bidvest will remain the distribution partner to the future.


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